Article Text

  1. D. M. Hofinger,
  2. R. Nofchissey,
  3. M. Jacobson*,
  4. D. Goade
  1. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
  2. *Arusha, Tanzania


Hantaviruses have been found in rodents throughout the world. However, hantaviruses have not been studied extensively in Africa and no serosurveys have been performed in human populations in East Africa. We assessed seropositivity to hantaviruses in asymptomatic adults presenting for care at a hospital in Arusha, Tanzania. Using excess blood specimens from 100 patients we tested for IgG and IgM reactivity to recombinant viral nucleocapsid (N) and selected portions of the nucleocapid of the glycoprotein G1 antigens by multi-antigen strip immunoblot assay. Samples were tested for Sin Nombre virus (SNV-N), Rio Mamare virus (RMV-N), Puumala virus (PUU-N), Hantaan virus (HTN-N), and Seoul virus (SEO-N). Of the 100 samples tested, one sample was strongly positive for SNV-N antibodies, 8 samples were positive for SEO-N, and 6 samples were weakly positive on multiple antigens. Of the 9 samples with a strongly positive antibody response, SEO-N was the most common; however, this is suggestive but not diagnostic for SEO-N virus. The positive SEO-N antibody response is reacting to a SEO-N like virus. This is the first evidence of seropositivity to SNV and SEO-like hantaviruses in Tanzania as well as evidence of human hantavirus infections in East Africa.

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